Dogs and cats have a way of communicating whether they are cold or hot. Rabbits are smaller and harder to read.
You don’t need to know when they are hungry or need to poop, but you need to know when they are too cold. And if you live in a colder region, you might want to know what you can do to make your pet comfortable.
In this article, we will cover whether rabbits get cold alongside the factors that affect rabbits’ cold tolerance. You will also find out what each factor means for you as a pet owner. By the end of this post, you will have all the information you need as a rabbit owner residing in a cold environment.
Do Rabbits Get Cold?
Rabbits get cold but usually not before their owners get cold. In colder states, the temperature at which you feel comfortable is the temperature where the rabbit is warm and snug. Rabbits from warmer regions like Brazil are an exception, as they get cold fairly quickly.
You can use your own comfort with the temperature as a barometer of what the average western rabbit feels. At any given point, your rabbit is feeling a few degrees warmer than you. More precisely, a young rabbit feels 3 to 4 degrees warmer than you.
But since personal comfort with different temperatures can be subjective, it is easy to misinterpret how one’s pet feels. That’s why you should know the tangible maximum temperature the average rabbit can tolerate.
At What Temperature Do Rabbits Get Cold?
Different species of rabbits get cold at different temperatures, and the age of the rabbit also plays a factor. However, the current consensus remains that rabbits generally find anything below 20 Degrees Fahrenheit to be too cold.
When the temperature falls below that point, the rabbit’s natural fur/coat doesn’t protect it from the cold as effectively. Rabbits rely on trapping their natural body heat to stay warm. But since their diet is not calorie-dense, the heat they produce isn’t enough for frigid temperatures.
Wild rabbits can survive outside in the region they are found in, but domesticated rabbits have lost their temperature resilience.
The rule of thumb remains that a pet rabbit can survive in the coldest average temperature of the region of its origin. But you’ll find Himalayans in Arizona! Since most rabbits are shipped across states and bred in areas that are far from their natural origin points, rabbit owners need to be aware of their pets’ cold tolerance.
Below are some of the factors that affect how cold a rabbit feels and at what temperature.
- Origin – Rabbits of western origin generally don’t feel cold until the mercury drops to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Brazilian rabbits start feeling cold at 30 Fahrenheit.
- Age – The second factor that affects the rabbit’s tolerance to cold is its age. An older western rabbit will feel colder at a temperature where the younger western bunny is snug.
- Habit/Exposure – This factor doesn’t affect cold tolerance as much as it affects comfort in cold temperatures. A rabbit that has stayed outside his whole life will be more comfortable in a colder climate than one who has been inside a temperature-regulated house.
At What Temperature Are Rabbits Comfortable?
Rabbits can tolerate cold weather by human standards, but there is a difference between tolerance and comfort. Mammals rarely feel comfortable in frigid weather, and even wild rabbits seek shelter from snow and rain.
Most pet rabbits feel comfortable at 60 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature at which pet owners don’t feel comfortable. 65 degrees Fahrenheit is where rabbits can start feeling a little warm but are still relatively comfortable.
In other words, a room that is a few degrees colder than room temperature is snug and comfortable for a rabbit. Older rabbits are comfortable at a temperature at which you are comfortable.
There are two ways you can make your rabbit comfortable without compromising the temperature regulation of your house. The first is to move his bed closer to the wall that faces the outside. This works if you live in a cold climate. If the climate is warm, you can move his bed closer to the AC.
If the rabbit is older, you’ll need to reverse his bed placement. Being closer to the walls in a colder state would make your senior rabbit uncomfortable. And being away from air conditioning will make him feel better. Please check out our post on Rabbits’ age in human years to identify when a rabbit can be considered a senior.
How Do I Keep My Rabbit Warm at Night?
Since rabbits can tolerate cold better than humans, they can be comfortable indoors when the temperature is right. However, some situations call for intervention. If the room where your rabbit’s bed is placed is not temperature-regulated, you might want to move him to a different place.
Rabbit owners don’t usually want their pets in their bedrooms. And if your bedroom is the only heated place in the entire house, you can do the following to keep your rabbit warm elsewhere:
- Add an insulated mat underneath the cage/bed – the floor constantly transfers heat out of the mammalian body. Making sure your rabbit isn’t constantly in freezing floor contact is a must.
- Use a thermal bottle – If you wrap a thermal bottle in a hedging material like a glove or a sock, you can get it to a safe temperature where it slowly adds warmth to the environment. If the bunny feels cold, he can snuggle next to it.
There are two situations in which you need to buy products, especially to keep your rabbit warm. The first is when only your bedroom is heated, and the second is when the floor is very cold. The floor is usually colder in a shed or outdoor-adjacent rooms. In either case, here are the products you need to make sure your pet feels comfortable.
You can use this room-temperature thermometer to find out if your rabbit needs to be protected from the cold in the first place. If the temperature is in the 60s (Fahrenheit), then you don’t need anything else. Over 7000 people have reviewed and rated this product, and its global collective average stands at 4.4 stars on a 5-star scale.
This bed is ideal for dwarf rabbits. YUEPET Large Rabbit Cave is a version of the same product for larger rabbits. This bed keeps the rabbit from losing heat through a cold floor. Place it in the cage and let the rabbit decide if it wants to use the hideout. This reduces the temperature-monitoring burden on you.
While this product is primarily used to keep dogs warm, it can be used for rabbits as well, albeit in a different application. This blanket is too warm for direct-body contact with rabbits. It is supposed to cover the rabbit’s cage instead. It is rated 4.5 stars on a 5-star scale from an average of over 2,300 reviews and ratings.
Rabbits get cold, but well after, humans get cold. If you start shivering, you might want to check the temperature and take measures to make your rabbit comfortable.
Placing a warm blanket on the floor is the lowest-effort way to help, and buying a blanketed hideout is a higher-effort solution. But if your house temperature is in the advanced Farenheit 50s or early 60s, your rabbit is already comfortable.